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Free tickets for churchgoers as Cathedral has to charge for entry

by Michael Ford last modified 05 Sep, 2020 11:40 AM

The Dean of Salisbury Nick Papadopulos has written to our parishes inviting our church members to the Cathedral free of charge as it is forced to introduce entry fees.

In the letter Dean Nick explained that as a result of "the substantial loss of income we sustained during the lockdown" the Cathedral had needed to launch a Recovery Appeal:

"One element of the Recovery Appeal is that from Tuesday 1 September the Chapter has decided that tourist visitors will be charged for entry to the Cathedral. The economic reality of Covid means that our donations system, which operated very successfully for many years, is no longer adequate for our needs. With necessarily lower visitor numbers every visit needs to count.

"Those attending worship or wishing to pray will not pay the charge, and several groups will be exempt: Salisbury residents, Diocesan parishioners, members of the electoral roll, and the under-13s.

"Parishioners in the Diocese will be able to book up to 2 free visitor tickets. We ask that this is done through you, the parish administrator or churchwarden - so that we can ensure probity."

The Dean said it was "a huge relief and a great joy to reopen the Cathedral’s doors after the months of lockdown: in June, for individual prayer; and, in July, for public worship and for tourist visiting."

He said:

"We are praying the office and celebrating the Eucharist every day; we have reopened the shop and refectory; and we look forward to hearing the Choir again next month. That worshippers and visitors are returning in growing numbers is a tribute to the Cathedral staff’s diligence and dedication."

But he said restrictions were still in place and that brought with it financial implications for the Cathedral which celebrates its 800th anniversary this year:

"In order to maintain a Covid-secure environment, pre-booking is required for services and for visits. This allows us to monitor the number of people in the building and to record track-and-trace details, thereby ensuring the safety of all who come. This is a paramount consideration for us, but the necessary restriction on numbers that it involves, together with the substantial loss of income we sustained during the lockdown, means that we now face a very severe financial challenge.

"Put starkly, we had budgeted to receive £2.2m in visitor income this year: we expect to receive no more than £200,000.

"In these circumstances we have launched a Cathedral Recovery Appeal, and have approached our benefactors, our congregation, our volunteers and our Friends for help. The response to date has been very encouraging: we have received nearly £150,000. I am profoundly grateful to those of you who have contributed. If you have not yet done so but would like to then please go to [this page]."

Please contact your churchwarden or incumbent if you are eligible and would like to access the free entry tickets.

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